By Contributing Mama Erin Butler
There are several things about motherhood that has surprised me.
How after nearly two years, every night before I go to bed, I still have to put my hand on my daughter to check if she is breathing.
How before we go anywhere there is a minimum of 30 minutes prep time, not including the inevitable three diaper changes before we actually get into the car.
But most of all, how incredibly lonely motherhood can be.
I always envisioned myself enthralled in playgroups and mommy and me classes combined with hours of non-stop activities at home.
I never thought there would be days when we would play with all her toys, read all her books, have no place to go, not one person to talk to and be staring at each other with boredom by 11:30am.
Don’t mistake this for being ungrateful, because I am 100% thankful for the opportunity to stay home with her, but sometimes, despite being with this smiley little face 24/7…
There are days I feel completely alone.
My friends are fabulous but I wish our lives paralleled a little more. Some of them work, some have numerous children to juggle and others live countless states away. Moving to a new town right before having a baby has proved to be social suicide.
Sadly, the one mommy friend I made in town eventually went back to work several months after her son was born. Apparently being able to pay her mortgage was more important than the every day debate of whether to use Desitin or Triple-Paste. And while we are still good friends, I no longer have my beckon call mom for a daily sanity coffee break.
So I put myself back out there and opened my heart for someone new to come into my life. I immersed us in Gymboree classes, library story times, swimming lessons and Parks & Rec activities with the hopes of making friends along the way.
And it turns out; it’s as bad as dating. Maybe even worse.
There was the woman at the park; who I hit it off with immediately. She asked for my number, promised fabulous get-togethers and never called. To make things worse, she blatantly ignored me when we ran into each other a month later at the sandbox.
There was the neighbor who, upon our first meeting, told me numerous stories about her three children that often concluded with the phrase “…and she threatened to call social services again.”
And finally, there was the woman at the library, who told me flat out she wasn’t interested in play dates because they planned on moving in three years and she didn’t want any ties to the community.
If there was ever a town clearly in desperate need of a Welcome Club, this is it.
It is too much to ask to find my mommy soul mate? Someone who secretly eats their child’s Earth’s Best Oatmeal Cinnamon cookies, sometimes loses library books and is counting down until their child’s second birthday so they can allow her to watch “Sesame Street” without worrying about it corroding her growing brain?
I mean, just as an example.
I know this won’t last forever and one day my social circle will expand again. And as lonely as I feel I won’t wish away this time because it is already slipping by faster than I can process.
Instead, I am trying to embrace these moments when it’s just us, remembering that she doesn’t care where we are, what we are doing or who else is with us.
Because I am her mommy. Her everything. And that is all that matters.
So for now, it’s just me and the little one.
And that’s definitely not a bad thing.